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Target Doubles Down On Crisis Response as 40 Million Customer Bank Accounts Compromised

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 19, 2013 03:42 PM

Happy holidays from the PR grinch! Target confirmed today that a security breach compromised the credit and debit card data of an estimated 40 million US customers, setting off a dizzying social media firestorm as the biggest shopping season of the year rounds out. 

“Target’s first priority is preserving the trust of our guests and we have moved swiftly to address this issue, so guests can shop with confidence," Gregg Steinhafel, Target's chairman, president and CEO said in statement. “We regret any inconvenience this may cause. We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice.”

Online customers were not affected as the breach appears to have occurred at POS systems in Target stores, though it covers customers that used the store's own REDcard as well as other debit and credit cards. “Point-of-sale systems have become a major target for cybercriminals in recent years," the New York Times notes. "By breaching point-of-sale systems, they can steal the so-called track data on credit and debit cards, which can be sold, in bulk, on the black market and used to create counterfeit cards.” 

The massive breach occurred between Nov. 27 and Dec.15 and “involves the theft of information stored on the magnetic stripe on the backs of cards used at nearly all of Target's stores around the country,” according to national computer security expert and former Washington Post reporter Brian Krebs, who first reported the breach on his KrebsOnSecurity.com site. Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Ford, Apple, GM and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 5, 2013 09:22 AM

In the News

Ford introduces new Mustang today as global vehicle.

Apple and China Mobile sign deal to sell iPhone as Carl Icahn softens stance on Apple's cash.

GM drops Chevrolet from mainstream European market and sells remaining stake in Ally.

AT&T and T-Mobile weigh bids for Verizon wireless spectrum.

Facebook admits organic reach is falling short and urges marketers to buy ads.

Fox says Super Bowl ad inventory is sold out.

FTC is perplexed after native-ad workshop.

General Mills is pouring Cheerios into the Super Bowl.

JCPenney sacrifices profit in volume push.Continue reading...

ad watch

FTC to Convene Panel as Native Advertising Augments

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 19, 2013 05:40 PM

If you're still confused about what native advertising really is, you're not alone. In fact, the general topic has become such a great concern that the Federal Trade Commission is convening a workshop on Dec. 4 to hopefully clear up the blurred lines between editorial and ad content that is increasingly confusing consumers.

Native advertising, a.k.a. blended advertising, branded or sponsored content, “is a type of converged media that combines paid and owned content into commercial messaging that is fully integrated into, and often unique to, a special delivery platform,” as defined by the Altimeter Group

Key to the ongoing conversation is what publishers and ad companies must do to make sure consumers can spot the differences between different types of content. The new approach to advertising is used by practically every web publisher in some form, from brand partner stories on BuzzFeed to sponsored posts on Facebook.

Registered workshop participants include representatives from such brands, as well as NPR’s Bob Garfield, former dean of Columbia Journalism School Nick Lemann, ad-tech companies like Outbrain and Sharethrough, and executives from The Huffington Post, Edelman, and Procter & Gamble, among others.Continue reading...

privacy alert

LinkedIn Fields Lawsuit After User Email Privacy Compromised

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 24, 2013 06:33 PM

Amid a growing host of privacy concerns among social media sites, LinkedIn is the latest to come under fire for a breach of email security. 

Four LinkedIn users have filed a lawsuit accusing the professional network of “breaking into” external e-mail accounts, such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail, and "unethically harvesting" contact lists and repeatedly spamming those contacts with invitations to join the service.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, seeks unspecified damages as a host of site users are now tipped off to the platform's unclear policies regarding personal information.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Daily Beast, Mondelez, Pandora and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 12, 2013 09:31 AM

In the News

The Daily Beast loses Tina Brown.

Mondelez strikes unique deal with Twitter for in-house experts. 

Pandora names new CEO.

AT&T slammed for 9/11 tweet.

Aetna takes stand for health-cost reform.

Apple sees investors slam its "low-end" strategy as Google patent suit may get new life.

BlackBerry sees service business targeted by rivals.

Boston Market opens first new restaurant in seven years.

Chipotle targets "Big Food" with brand documentary.

Colgate campaign says "there's something in your Tweet."

Facebook gets stronger engagement on mobile than on PCs as FTC probes company on privacy issues.

Gorilla Glue branches out with first national TV ad campaign. 

Hilton files for IPO of up to $1.25 billion.Continue reading...

brand challenges

Another Regulator Probe Distracts Google as It Bids for Mapping Startup Waze

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 24, 2013 03:36 PM

Google is on the move, expanding its two-month old Google Shopping Express, its challenger in same-delivery service to eBay Now and Amazon Prime. The service is rolling out in the San Francisco Bay Area and beta tester sign-up is now open.

Mashable reports the delivery service has "been doing well enough and worked out the kinks to expand a little more." The expansion will include more products from retail partners, improved 360-degree images for product browsing and a bigger fleet of third-party couriers. Despite the success, the service faces some steep competition. “Google faces tough competition from more established businesses and startups in the space—not to mention the fact that Google has a mixed track record when it comes to commerce,” notes Mashable.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Aereo, iPhone 5S, Billabong and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 9, 2013 09:03 AM

In the News

Aereo TV streaming service from Barry Diller faces showdown with News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch, who threatens to take FOX cable-only, as Intel cooks up its vision of future of TV.

Apple, which can now trademark iPad mini in U.S. and captured 74% of mobile app revenue in Q1, reportedly will release new iPhone 5S in "at least" two screen sizes.

Billabong in talks to sell out for $300 million.

Airbus juggles order book to meet record demand for A320neo Jet.

AT&T joins Boeing in backing U.S. cyber bill facing privacy fight.

Audi promotes in-vehicle Wi-Fi in new TV campaign.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Mike Bloomberg, Starbucks, Pepsi/Mondelez and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 24, 2013 01:02 PM

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg unveils $12 million ad campaign (above) for Mayors Against Illegal Guns that lobbies for background checks to reduce gun violence, while NYC's municipal data geek squad makes headlines.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz defends same-sex marriage support to shareholders as brand expands loyalty rewards to other retailers.

PepsiCo shares jump on Mondelez merger speculation sparked by Telegraph story which Pepsi "downplays."

Apple acquires indoor GPS startup WiFiSLAM for mapping, patents iPhone drop protection technology and faces EU scrutiny following iPhone and iPad distribution complaints — and may report first quarterly dip since 2003.

FTC "pay for delay" generic drug case, set to go before US Supreme Court on Monday, will be closely watched by pharmaceutical industry and economists.

Below: BlackBerry, Blockbuster, Dell, Diageo and other brands in the news —Continue reading...

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